The biggest topic of discussion after the game was Seattle’s decision to not give the football to running back Marshawn Lynch after the Seahawks moved to the one-yard line in the final minute. If I had been coaching that is what I would have done.
Coach Pete Carroll is catching a lot of grief for the interception his team threw in that situation when it looked like the Seahawks were about to win the game by running the football into the end zone with their star back. However, people forget that on a third down and one situation earlier in the game the Patriots stopped Lynch for a loss of a yard. I also heard the statistic that previously during the season the Seahawks had given the ball to Lynch five times in similar situations and he had scored just once.
I also remember when Carroll was the head coach at Southern Cal he tried to run the ball on fourth down vs. Texas and got stopped when the game was on the line so that is something that could have played into his thinking in going with a pass play in that situation vs. the Patriots. His quarterback, Russell Wilson, perfectly executed a goal line pass in a pressure situation at the end of the first half to score a touchdown and the coach must have assumed that would happen again at the end of the second half.
Malcolm Butler makes his big play vs. the Seahawks.
What happened is a little cornerback from West Alabama named Malcolm Butler stepped up and won the game for the Patriots after having really bad luck a couple plays earlier when he made a great play on a long pass that was deflected into the hands of the receiver, who was on the ground when he made the catch.
Based on the interviews I saw with Butler, he seems to be a nice kid and it is a great story for an undrafted free agent to make one of the great plays in Super Bowl history by reading the situation and getting himself in the right place at the right time to win the game for his team. It was also great to see how his teammates were excited for him and how they praised the cornerback for his work ethic and the type of person he is. He must be a very competitive guy or the Patriots wouldn’t have put him on the field with the game on the line.
All things considered the NFL put on a great show for this year’s Super Bowl and the league has to be ecstatic over the TV ratings, which look like they are going to be off the chart. I even enjoyed the halftime show although I couldn’t make out a single word that girl was singing, but the staging and the special effects were very impressive. My guess is it cost Pepsi millions of dollars to pull that one off.
For many years Super Bowls had developed a reputation for being less than exciting, but in recent seasons there have been more good games and this year’s was certainly one of the best.
All in all it was an impressive show with an interesting game that gave the analysts a lot to talk and write about for hours after the game on Sunday and down the road. Although I prefer college football over the pros, if the NFL’s Super Bowls were all this good they would be difficult for the college football playoff to top.
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